Nadine Smith

Disturbing Video: The Law Is "Supposed To Discriminate" Against Gays

Filed By Nadine Smith | August 05, 2008 10:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: adoption rights, Darryl Rouson, Florida, immoral, Rousson

Florida State Rep. Darryl Rouson says he didn't remember calling gay people immoral during a television program in 2006 or describing them as unfit to adopt children.

DarrylRouson[1].jpgHe did not remember saying this:
"I think it's wrong to allow adoptions of children by gay and lesbian couples."

Or this:
"I still think that there ought to be ways for us to provide a loving environment for children without sending a wrong message to them early, or a message that we have to sit down and try to explain some psychological damage or emotional damage or something later on in life."

Or this one either:
"I think that lesbianism and homosexuality is morally wrong and the law's supposed to discriminate sometimes."

Watch the video and read Rep. Rouson's reply to me when I contacted him about it after the jump...

Here's the clip.

His opponent in the August 26th Democratic primary is Rev. Charles McKenzie.

McKenzie, a pro-equality Black Baptist minister, has gained the endorsement of LGBT organizations including Equality Florida Action PAC and the Stonewall Democrats for his longstanding support of anti-discrimination laws and his opposition to Amendment 2, the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment.
(For more info on Charles McKenzie, visit his website:


I spoke with Rep. Rouson about the video several times and he promised to issue a public apology at the NAACP debate with McKenzie last night. He also sent the following statement and I told him I'd include it wherever I posted the video:

Ms. Smith,

l have reviewed the Florida This Week video and I regret my comments. Without giving full explanation, I will say that I should have been more tolerant and less damning on the whole matter of whether Lesbian or gay lifestyle is wrong. I regret that my words caused pain or demonstrated condemnation for fellow human beings.

As far as same sex couples adopting, what i believe is that the paramount issue is a loving household for the child. Children who are in need of adoption should be eligible to receive love whether it is from a heterosexual or same sex couple. I will absolutely support repealing any ban on same sex couple adoptions.

I believe that the matter of gay or lesbian has a theological viewpoint, a political viewpoint and a biological viewpoint. I am not smarter than the preachers, the veteran politicians or the scientists. I will not pretend to substitute my humble and flawed human judgment for theirs. Therefore, I will support civil unions but any sacrament of marriage is a theological issue and it should be sacrosanct to denomination.

I have not taken a position on amendment 2 but i am open to recieving all information. the fact of the matter is i want to build a relationship that bridges gaps between diverse communities without using words that foster hatred and division.

darryl rouson

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Great work, Ms. Smith.

Mr. Rouson should read up about glass houses, and logs in eyes.

Wow, and wow again.

OK -- wow... where to start.

First, with a question: This is an apology? Which part? The obviously still bigoted comment about our "lifestyle?" Or maybe, the redundant comment that he "should have been more tolerant and less damning?" Well, duh.

Next -- he doesn't remember making those comments little more than 2 years ago. Even though he's been being reminded of them for months now... repeatedly... by several sources...

What more information is he waiting to receive regarding amendment 2 -- the so-called "Marriage amendment?" The information that one of its key supporters is already pulling the information necessary to challenge existing benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples in Tampa? That's already been in the papers. Or is it the case that he still believes that "the law is supposed to discriminate sometimes?"

And I don't even want to start commenting on his inability to write a coherent sentence.

Incidentally -- I was at that NAACP forum where he reportedly apologized. He apologized for the pain his words caused -- but specifically avoided telling the audience what those words were, or apologizing for the positions he took. That, in itself, speaks volumes. I can't blame him, though... I wouldn't want to confess to members of the NAACP (of the chapter he used to be president of, no less) that he holds the opinion that discrimination is sometimes acceptable. How unconscionable.

Give me a P! Give me an A! Give me an N! Give me a D! Give me an E! Give me an R! Give me an E! Give me an R!

What does it spell? PANDERER!

How attractive is it to have your cake (attack us where it matters) and eat it (trick us through some obscure message on a niche site)?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | August 6, 2008 6:56 AM

Gee, where are those Jim Crow laws and poll taxes? They were law and they discriminated and the people who passed them thought that the law should discriminate too.

I think that lesbianism and homosexuality is morally wrong and the law's supposed to discriminate sometimes.

It's a lot of work educating some lawmakers and you, Nadine, deserve kudos for stepping up to the task.

Do continue to emphasize to any politician that needs it that theology is theology and law is law --- and in America, we have a First Amendment that guarantees that the two are not to be the same.

If the law "discriminates" against any population group, it needs a legally based reason for doing so. Since it is now his job to help make laws, Rep. Rouson would do well to learn about the legal phrases "equal treatment" and "equal protection" and the ways that they show up, both explicitly and implied, in the US Constitution. If the good Representative does not learn about such legal subtleties voluntarily, he might have to discover them someday in a US Supreme Court ruling striking down one of his laws (or at least, we can hope they would).

P.S. I was not able to view the video --- using a dial-up line in a pre-Cambrian area of Indianapolis. (Anyone care for a pet trilobyte?)

It is unacceptable, given the tortured history we've had in this country, for ANY African-American, especially one entrusted with the ability to enact laws, to feel it's 'okay' to discriminate against any group.

As I keep warning African-Americans who hate on gays and transgender people, we're the canaries in the civil rights coal mine. When the anti-civil rights forces are done jacking with the LGBT community, our civil rights are next on the chopping block.

Hmmm...being me is morally wrong and the law is supposed to discriminate against me.
I am not even going to take this argument where I could take it.

At least he's taking baby steps. We don't really care how his religion "tolerates" us as long as he votes in favor of our rights.

I just wanted to echo A.J. Lopp -- Nadine, you have my undying gratitude for bringing this issue to light. I have not always thought highly of your organization, but I've always said you are a tireless and highly effective spokesperson for the GLBT community. Thank you for all you do.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 6, 2008 10:03 PM

The Democratic Party is chock full of bigots like Rouson.

These bigots voted for DOMA and DADT and refuse to repeal them. They're a lot like DNC chief of staff Leah Daughtry, recently appointed CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Daughtry's a skypilot, a pentecostal minister who, like fellow sky pilot Jimmy Swaggart is a pigheaded opponent of same sex marriage. These bigots voted to gut ENDA and to discard it and the hate crimes law. They voted to put a racist, anti-GLBT bigot on the Federal circuit court.

These Democrats aren't exactly what you'd call friendly to LGBT folks, plus they're pro war and pro-business. That's three strikes and we haven't even covered health care, immigrant and imported workers or a dozen other key issues.

They're all set to choose a presidential candidate who will extend the war, trash civil liberties, support union busting and be as good a friend as DADT/DOMA Bill was.

The big question is whether or not most Americans will vote against the Bush/Clinton Clones and/or just sit it our like they did in the last two elections.

That apology is a 180 from his statements in the clip. I really don't get how someone could give a partial explanation and have it come out sounding like that.

Nadine Smith Nadine Smith | August 7, 2008 7:46 PM

This longer clip from the show let's you see how other panelists and the host are shocked by Rouson's statements.

Here's a clip of a candidate who knows how to stand up for the LGBT community.

Check out the crowds response when one candidate says what he knows of gay people comes from his years in vice.